In the arid summer heat, four children – Jack, Julie, Sue and Tom – find themselves abruptly orphaned. All the routines of childhood are cast aside as the children adapt to a now parentless world. Alone in the house together, the children’s lives twist into something unrecognisable as the outside begins to bear down on them.
Research Paper (Pre-University) from the year 2010 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 10, Matthias-Grunewald-Gymnasium, Wurzburg, language: English, abstract: "Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested." (Francis Bacon) The story of "The Cement Garden" is clearly one of the third kinds. Every time I read the book or watched the film, I stumbled upon more and more subtleties that have been built in. "The Cement Garden" is not an ordinary story. It is a story about a bizarre relationship which you would normally not only frown upon, but Ian McEwan's and Andrew Birkin's work makes you understand the characters or even makes you sympathise with them. Although the plot is quite the same in both the film and the book, both authors have an individual way of telling the story. It can be stated that the novel and the film are not too different from each other, concerning the plot. It is the devices that both authors use which differ widely. While McEwan favours classical rhetorical devices, Birkin makes great use of subtle audio-visual devices. However, both managed to create the atmosphere that makes this story so special. For this reason I summed up the plot of the book and the film and then went on to compare them, working out the differences and similarities between them.
Kopierfähige Arbeitsblätter mit Arbeitsanweisungen und Lösungsteil bieten Lehrkräften der Sekundarstufe II ein hochwertiges Arbeitsmaterial für die Gestaltung der Lektürearbeit im Englischunterricht.»Lord of the Flies«, »The Cement Garden«, »The Buddha of Suburbia« – dieser Band liefert Arbeitsmaterialien zu den drei wichtigsten literarischen Werken und am häufigsten besprochenen Lektüren des Englischunterrichts an deutschen Schulen.Die einzelnen Arbeitsblätter sind so konzipiert, dass sie den in den Curricula der Bundesländer geforderten Teilkompetenzen (Sprachfunktionen) des Beschreibens, Erörterns, Argumentierens, Diskutierens etc. entsprechen. Didaktische Hinweise für die Unterrichtenden garantieren alle wichtigen Informationen für eine schnelle praktische Umsetzung. Die Themen des Erwachsenwerdens, aber auch Umgang mit dem Tod, Isolation, Multikulturalismus, Rassismus und Suche nach der eigenen Identität bieten die Möglichkeit des fächerübergreifenden Arbeitens.
These three bestselling novels by the Booker Award-winning author explore the dark sides of love, family and sexuality. The Child in Time On a routine Saturday morning trip to the supermarket, a father’s brief moment of distraction turns his life upside down when his daughter is kidnapped. His spiral of guilt and bereavement has effects on his marriage, his psyche—and time itself. The Cement Garden When their mother suddenly dies, four siblings hide her body in the basement to prevent others from discovering her death and placing them in foster care. But their dark secret sets them on a path of isolation and boundary-crossing intimacy. The Comfort of Strangers Colin and Mary are vacationing in Venice in hopes of reigniting their relationship. But after losing their way in the winding streets, their acquaintance with another couple takes turns that are likewise erotic and violent in nature.
The thesis is devoted to the intertextual analysis of The Cement Garden, the first novel of a famous postmodern British novelist Ian McEwan. In the following chapters I shall prove that the novel exhibits both intertextual relations with particular works of fiction and also enters into a discourse with the generic archetypes. The first chapter refers to the intertextual relation 'text-text' and concentrates on the profound interconnectivity between McEwan's The Cement Garden and Golding's Lord of the Flies. The focus is also placed upon depiction of childhood and, in a more general sense, human nature by both authors in relation to the literary tradition. The chapter traces various techniques employed by McEwan in the novel, in order to refresh the "already read" and provide a modern vision of childhood and adolescence. The second and the third chapters are devoted to the intertextual discourse with the generic literary tradition, namely Gothic fiction and psychological novel of development. Both chapters depict the ways generic conventions are used in The Cement Garden, but also portray the author's deliberate departure and inversion of particular attributes of the genres. The author either provides the parody and inversion of the generic conventions, or employs particular generic aspects in order to effectively express and emphasize certain issues brought about in the novel. Thanks to the skillful use of the genres and their conventions, McEwan achieves an extraordinary effect and invites the reader to explore a complex network of literary allusions.
Seminar paper from the year 2009 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 2.0, University of Duisburg-Essen, language: English, abstract: In [Ian McEwan's] The Cement Garden a prominent interpretative signpost is bestowed by the literary allusion to the story tradition in which children are put into a situation in which they must fend for themselves. The key reference here is to William Golding's Lord of the Flies, a pessimistic tale of savage that emerges within the child when free of social controls. However, the children in McEwan's novel are not entirely cut from society. They try to keep their sense of family together by entombing their dead mother in concrete in the cellar of their isolated house. Moreover, all of them are influenced by adult codes of familial behavior. These codes become distorted in their independent existence, a process that culminates in the incestuous involvement of the eldest siblings. While Sue, the younger sister of the first-person narrator Jack, does not change visibly, Jack himself runs through a metamorphosis in terms of hygiene and outward appearance as such. Tom, the youngest, starts dressing up as a girl and later on behaves like a toddler and Julie, the eldest, takes over the responsibility for the others and turns from sister to mother. At the end of the story, she even becomes Jack's lover. The following paper will discuss the different family roles of Julie. First, there will be a chapter on how Jack views his elder sister. This shall function as an overview of Julie's character. The main part of this paper will present Julie's changing family roles from sister to mother and finally to lover. The oedipal theme linked to that, will not be made a subject of discussion in this paper. A conclusion will follow the summary in the final chapter.
Seminar paper from the year 2011 in the subject English - Literature, Works, grade: 2,3, University of Regensburg (Anglistik/Amerikanistik), language: English, abstract: Es handelt sich hier um eine Arbeit ber Ian McEwans Werk "The Cement Garden", welches die Thematik der Regression in vielerlei Hinsicht beleuchtet.
A two-timing pornographer becomes the unwilling object of one of his victim's vengeful fantasies. A millionaire buys himself the perfect mistress – passive, yet beautiful – but the union soon becomes a nightmare of jealousy and despair. And an ape reflects on the relationship with a young female writer, mourning their fading love and musing on the fateful deceptions of art. In these seven stories of dream-like lucidity, the wasteland of the human psyche is mapped with deadly precision.
Seminar paper from the year 2007 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2,7, Humboldt-University of Berlin (Anglistik), course: Ian McEwan, language: English, abstract: Ian McEwan's The Cement Garden (1978) deals with the children Jack, Julie, Sue and Tom, who after the death of both their parents, slowly develop a microcosm. It shows signs of a matriarchal society and also creates independent authorities. In the following I will analyse the way in which McEwan transports this political novel and in doing so I will put a focus on the "kultur-und zivilisationskritischen Aspekte," who earn the main respect of the novel. By the establishing of matriarchal structures on an individual and also societal level, the children find a way of rediscovering the possibilities of interpersonal communication and by experiencing erotical sensuality, a relationship not only to the outer but also to the inner nature can be newly built, and by this they free themselves of limiting conventions temporarily, nevertheless, the excitement felt at the beginning won't be of long duration. McEwan already topicals the "sexuelle- sich-gewahr werden, den erotischen Lustgewinn und die problematische psychische Disposition von Jugendlichen und Kindern" in his first two short story-collections First Love, Last Rites (1975) and In Between The Sheets (1978). In the early literature of the Romanticism and the 19 th century children often functioned due to their uncorrupted moral as a mirror of the society and would show the adults their mistakes. McEwan shows the children neither unguilty nor passive - they are immoral and do not represent abstract moral values; they indexicalize the societal depravity. After a short examination and analysis of the main characters under the portent of the later offing regression I will in the second part be more concrete regarding causes and effects of the "matriarchal dreamtime."
Somerset Maugham Award winner: Dark early fiction by the author of Nutshell—“a splendid magician of fear” (Village Voice Literary Supplement). Taut, brooding, and densely atmospheric, the stories here show us how murder can arise out of boredom, perversity from adolescent curiosity—and how sheer evil can become the solution to unbearable loneliness. These short fiction pieces from the early career of the New York Times–bestselling and Man Booker Prize–winning author of Atonement and On Chesil Beach are claustrophobic tales of childhood, twisted psychology, and disjointed family life as terrifying as anything by Stephen King—and finely crafted with a lyricism and an intensity that compels us to confront our secret kinship with what repels us. “A powerful talent that is both weird and wonderful.” —TheBoston Sunday Globe “Ian McEwan’s fictional world combin[es] the bleak, dreamlike quality of de Chirico’s city-scapes with the strange eroticism of canvases by Balthus. Menace lies crouched between the lines of his neat, angular prose, and weird, grisly things occur in his books with nearly casual aplomb.” —The New York Times
The Innocent is a startlingly prescient novel from Booker prize-winning Sunday Times bestselling author Ian McEwan. Into a Berlin wrenched between East and West, comes twenty-five-year-old Leonard Marnham, assigned to a British-American surveillance team. Though only a pawn in an international plot, Leonard uses his secret work to escape the bonds of his ordinary life. The promise of his new life begins to be fulfilled as Leonard becomes a crucial part of the surveillance team, while simultaneously being initiated into a new world of love and sex by Maria, a beautiful young German woman. It is a promise that turns to horror in the course of one terrible evening – a night when Leonard Marnham learns just how much of his innocence he's willing to shed. 'The plot crackles like thin ice with dread and suspense' Mail on Sunday